I am all about honesty and being upfront! So here are my current studio policies:
- Lessons are established for a weekly schedule on a semester term basis. These terms are broken into monthly payments, based off of the academic calendar & how many lessons are in the semester. Payment is made in advance for the upcoming month.
- Payment is DUE the 1st of the month via automatic withdrawal, or credit card payment through your monthly invoice. Upon enrollment, you receive your own parent account login. If for some reason the payment does not go through, and payment is received after the 5th of the month, there will be an additional $10 late fee applied to your account. If payment has not been received by the 10th of the month, additional late fees at the rate of $2 per day, will be added to your account. If this process continues through the end of the month, the student will be terminated by the studio. This policy applies, regardless of whether you physically had a lesson or not! (If you need payments to come out on a different day of the month, please communicate that with me and I am more than happy to try to accommodate, so long as it is communicated, in advance!)
- Monthly automatic withdrawal payments are required! Upon registration for lessons, you will receive a parent login and must set up your payment information through the secure software. Bank verification will need to be processed!
30 Minutes: $25 each
45 Minutes: $37.50 each
60 Minutes: $50 each
Group Lessons: $15 each family
There is a $25 Registration Fee, due either upon returning of contract, or upon the beginning of the academic year. This is a once a year fee that helps to offset some of the behind-the-scenes costs that music teachers incur. This includes, but is not limited to: Recital hall rental charges, piano tuning, printing, administrative fees, studio software subscriptions, prizes, etc...
Group Lessons happen once a month throughout the academic year. These groups are REQUIRED attendance. This is not extra-curricular! It is part of the Suzuki Method and extremely important! Group Lessons offer benefits that private lessons do not. Absences will not be excused for any reason other than health, or a death in the family! Please make every effort to be present for them. If you have more than 3 unexcused absences from group lessons in one academic year, student will be terminated from the studio, as group lessons are essential to the curriculum. Unexcused abscenses are still charged to your account!
Electronic Device Policy:
Any & all electronic devices must be turned off before entering the lesson. Such gadgets are extremely disruptive and distracting to both the student, the teacher, AND you!! If you are distracted by your phone, it is extremely easy to miss important information, and as the “at-home” practice helper, it is imperative you do not let the child’s understanding and knowledge surpass your own, until they are mature enough to handle it (10-12 years old & up). I expect parents full attention, the entire lesson. Failure to comply with this rule, will first result in a verbal warning, followed by a written warning. If the behavior continues, this may result in termination from the studio.
When the need arises, the studio shall determine which music books & supplies should be purchased. Music orders will require shipping, and may take time to arrive. Please purchase any requested music, as soon as possible to allow shipping time. If any music needs to be purchased by the studio for any reason, the studio will need to be reimbursed upon arrival of the music in order to prevent late charges.
Practice & Parental Support:
Sufficient scheduled practice time on a daily basis is the best guarantee that you, or your child, will experience consistent progress at the piano. Learning the necessary skills to become proficient at the keyboard will not occur by simply going to piano lessons. It takes committed practice on a daily basis during the week to put skills covered at the lesson into motion.
Parental support is an extremely important factor in musical training. Children whose parents take an active and honest interest in their child's progress tend to be more enthusiastic and productive. I do require a parent/guardian to attend the weekly lesson(s)--this way, the parent/guardian is better equipped to assist his/her child with home practice sessions.
As mentioned before: music is not easy and can, at times, become frustrating. Adults often take for granted that children are rarely self-motivated and lack the maturity (and self-discipline) to put in that all-important practice session. With commitment to learning the art of music comes the decision to practice on a regular basis. Consistent progress results in pride, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment! If you help to teach your child self-discipline, by requiring daily practice, eventually they will get into the habit of it, and be able to master the skill of their own accord. However, this can take a very long time to develop, so making sure daily practice happens is the parent/guardian’s responsibility.
There are strategies to make this happen without temper-tantrums. Feel free to refer to my “Parent-Teaching Education” Podcasts to learn some of them. The Suzuki Method of music learning, is an educational journey not just for the child, but for the parent as well. Please be prepared to do the personal work necessary for your child to succeed.
At the same time, the Suzuki Method also places character development at the top of the priority list, OVER musical development. Without good character and discipline, we cannot be good music students. This means that any disrespectful, distracting, or poor behavior will be addressed in lessons. Please be supportive of the instructor in these instances. Although the “Suzuki Triangle” places equal importance upon Teacher, Parent, and Child in the student’s musical development, in the lesson, the teacher is the ultimate authority.
Parent expectations in lessons, are to sit quietly and observe. Please do not interrupt lessons, but rather keep notes on valuable information and any assignments given (even if the teacher is also taking notes). This may be redundant, but repetition increases internalization of lessons.
Please keep any questions about things discussed in lessons written down in your notes for the beginning or end of the lessons.
Sports & Extracurricular Activities:
Although this is a private piano studio, and is not affiliated with any school district, it is no less an educational institution--and must be regarded as such. It is the position of this studio that piano lessons are to be treated with the same level of importance as any other subject your child may be studying in school. It is also the position of this piano studio that sporting events and other extracurricular activities (birthday parties included) are not considered valid excuses for not practicing during the week. As an instructor of piano, I would no more accept this reasoning than any other teacher at an educational institution. Sports and music may not always be mutually compatible, but need not be mutually exclusive. Please respect my curriculum and my commitment to your child's musical education by maintaining a priority level for piano studies equal to that of other school subjects--regard it as a "private extension" of academics that would otherwise be unavailable to your child.
Recitals & Performances:
During the year, several performance opportunities are made available to qualified students. These events provide pupils with further incentive to practice and excel, and can have a positive effect on a student's sense of accomplishment. Recitals build confidence and reinforce the concept that good practice habits result in good pianists.
Students scheduled to perform for recitals are required to attend and perform. Except in cases of family emergency or illness, students may not "drop out" from the program. Such behavior then affects the entire recital, and is not fair to the other performers (nor me!).
Performers must be at the facility no later than 20 minutes before the beginning of the recital. Participating students and their families are expected to remain for the duration of the entire recital, thereby providing ample audience and respect for all performers.
Recital space usually comes with rental fee’s. These fee’s are typically covered in your intial registration fee. (If you have access to a space, which has a piano in good condition, that may be provided for low-cost or free of charge, please contact me as soon as possible! Thank you!)
The piano studio is part of a business, and must always be regarded and respected as such. Please do your part to maintain the premises and be respectful. This includes no screaming, loud yelling, or banging at full-volume on the keyboard! It is your job to ensure your children and any siblings behave accordingly!
Make-up Lesson Policy:
The day and time scheduled for your child’s lessons is a commitment made by the teacher and if you must cancel due to sickness, death in the family, or an emergency, there will be up to (2) makeup lessons per semester, giving during planned make-up lesson weeks, throughout the year. If you miss more than two lessons, there will be no further make up lessons given and you forfeit the payment for the missed lesson. If the teacher must cancel for any reason, a makeup lesson is due and will be scheduled at a mutually agreed day and time.
Birthday parties, school parties (i.e. movie nights, ice skating parties, etc...), are NOT excused absences. In the event you would like to reschedule a lesson, it is YOUR responsibility to login to your student portal, check the schedule, and attempt to contact and trade lesson times with another student, before attempting to reschedule a new time with Leilah, as to be respectful of her time and her teaching/performing schedules and time.
Because payments are based off semester terms, a two-week withdrawal notice is required!
If you should arrive early for your scheduled lesson time, please feel free to knock on the front door and have a seat on the couch, while waiting for your lesson. Observation has its educational values, that being said, please be respectful of the other students lesson time and remain quiet, until the lesson is over.
Lesson time must remain as focused as possible--siblings are welcome to attend provided they remain still and quiet. It is very difficult and tense if I have to teach while a sibling is walking/running/jumping around and making various noises during a lesson. Please take the initiative to remove a sibling from the studio should this situation begin to arise. This situation usually arises when a parent is unprepared with activities for that child to do, so they get bored. Please feel free to bring coloring books, electronic devices with headphones (are the best), books to read, etc… Again, it is very uncomfortable for me to remind a parent of this procedure should the need arise, so please help me to keep the atmosphere of the lesson time free from such distractions.
Student Video/Photograph Agreement:
Highlighting the achievements and celebrating the successes of our students, and sharing the good work of students and staff with the community is a priority for this studio. Throughout the academic year, there is often the opportunity to photograph and/or videotape students in a variety of studio related activities. These photographs may be used in studio communication tools in a variety of ways including the studio website or Facebook page, studio newsletters, and other forms of communication. In these photographs, a student may be identified by name, age, and instrument. Parents/Guardians are requested to indicate their wishes regarding the studio’s use of student photographs, videotapes or images. Parents/Guardians who allow their student to participate in or attend events which are open to the public are assumed to have given implied consent to allow their student to be photographed.
Although summer lessons are more flexible, vacation time is flexibly built into the calendar. Summer lessons are REQUIRED to remain in the studio. If you need to break for summer, your spot in the studio will not be guaranteed upon returning.